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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal Norwegian Navy
Logo of "Sjøforsvaret"
Founded 1814 (1509)
Country  Norway
Size 3,700 personnel
Part of Military of Norway
Engagements Swedish War of Liberation (1510-23)
Count's Feud (1534-36)
Nordic Seven Years' War (1563-70)
Kalmar War (1611-13)
Torstenson War (1643-45)
Second Nordic War (1657-60)
Scanian War (1675-79)
Great Nordic War (1700 & 1709-20)
Battle of Copenhagen (1801)
Battle of Copenhagen (1807)
Gunboat War (1807-14)
First Schleswig War (1848-51)
World War II (1940-45)
Cold War (1945-90)
War on terror (2001- )
Peter Tordenskjold
Cort Adeler
Niels Juel
Lauritz Galtung
Kristoffer Throndsen
Henrik Bjelke
FIAV 000001.svg Flag Flag of Norway, state.svg
Pennant Royal Norwegian Navy pennant.svg
Naval Jack Naval Jack of Norway.svg

The Royal Norwegian Navy (often abbreviated as RNoN) is the branch of the Norwegian Defence Force responsible for naval operations. As of 2008, the RNoN consists of approximately 3,700 personnel (9,450 if mobilized, and 32,000 if fully mobilized) and 70 vessels, including 3 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 6 corvettes, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support vessels and 2 training vessels. The RNoN also includes the Coast Guard.

In Norwegian, the Royal Norwegian Navy vessels are given the ship prefix "KNM", short for Kongelig Norske Marine (Royal Norwegian Navy). In English, they are given the prefix "HNoMS", short for "His/Her Norwegian Majesty's Ship". Coast Guard vessels are given the prefix "KV" for KongeligeVakttjeneste (Royal Guardservice) in Norwegian and "NoCGV" for Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel in English.



The history of Norwegian state-operated naval forces is long, and goes back to the leidang which was first established by King Håkon the Good on Gulating in 955. Although variants of the Leidang had at that time already existed for hundreds of years.

During most of the union between Norway and Denmark the two countries had a common fleet. This fleet was established by King Hans in 1509. A large proportion of the crew and officers were Norwegian. In 1709 there were about 15,000 personnel enrolled in the common fleet; of these 10,000 were Norwegian. When Tordenskjold carried out his famous raid at Dynekil in 1716 more than 80 percent of the sailors and 90 percent of the soldiers in his force were Norwegian. Because of this the Royal Norwegian Navy shares its history from 1509 to 1814 with the Royal Danish Navy.

The modern, separate Royal Norwegian Navy was founded on April 12, 1814 by Prince Christian Fredrik. At the time of separation the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy was in a poor state and Norway was left with the lesser share. All officers of Danish birth were ordered to return to Denmark and the first commander of the RNoN became Captain Thomas Fasting. The RNoN consisted of 39 officers, seven brigs (one more under construction), one schooner-brig, eight gun schooners, 46 gun chalups and 51 gun barges.[1] April 1, 1815 the RNoN's leadership was reorganized into a navy ministry, and Fasting became the first navy minister.

Norway retained its independent armed forces, including the RNoN, during the union with Sweden. During most of the union the RNoN was subjected to low funding, even though there were ambitious plans to expand it. In the late 19th century the fleet was increased to defend a possible independent Norway from her Swedish neighbours.

Norway was neutral during World War I, but the RNoN was mobilised to protect Norway's neutrality. Norway's neutrality was sorely tested - the nation's merchant fleet suffered heavy casualties to German U-Boats and commerce raiders.

World War II began for the Royal Norwegian Navy on April 8, 1940, when the German torpedo boat Albatross attacked the guard ship HNoMS Pol III. In the opening hours of the Battle of Narvik, the old coastal defence ships ("panserskip") Eidsvold and Norge, both built before 1905 and hopelessly obsolete, attempted to put up a fight against the invading German warships; both were torpedoed and sunk. The German invasion fleet heading for Oslo was significantly delayed when Oscarsborg Fortress opened fire with two of its three old 28 cm guns, followed by the 15 cm guns on Kopås on the eastern side of the Drøbak strait. The artillery pieces inflicted heavy damage on the German heavy cruiser Blücher, which was subsequently sunk by torpedoes fired from Oscarsborg's land based torpedo battery. Blücher sank with over 1,000 casualties among its crew and the soldiers it carried. The German invasion fleet - believing Blücher had struck a mine - retreated south and called for air strikes on the fortress. This delay allowed the King of Norway and the Royal family, as well as the government, to escape captivity.

Memorial to members of the Royal Norwegian Navy, Army and Merchant Marine in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on the flag plaza outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

On June 7, 1940 13 ships, five aircraft and 500 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy followed the King to theUnited Kingdom and continued the fight from bases there until the war ended. The number of men was steadily increased as Norwegians living abroad, civilian sailors and men escaping from Norway joined the RNoN. Funds from Nortraship were used to buy new ships, aircraft and equipment.

Ten ships and 1,000 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy participated in the Normandy Invasion in 1944.

During the war the RNoN operated 118 ships, at the end of the war the it had 58 ships and 7,500 men in service. The RNoN lost 27 ships, 18 fishing boats (of the Shetland bus) and 933 men in World War II.[2]

The RNoN had its own air force from 1912 to 1944.

The building of a new fleet in the 1960s was made possible with substantial economic support from the United States. During the cold war, the Royal Norwegian Navy was optimized for sea denial in coastal waters, in order to make an invasion from the sea as difficult and costly as possible. With that mission in mind, the RNoN consisted of a large number of small vessels and up to 15 small diesel-electric submarines. The Royal Norwegian Navy is now replacing those vessels with a smaller number of larger and more capable vessels.

The Royal Norwegian Navy Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the RNoN's history.


Some of The Royal Norwegian Navy's bases are:


The Navy is organized into the Fleet, the Coast Guard, and the Naval Schools. The Fleet consists of:

  • Fleet Chief Staff,
  • Frigate Branch (Fregattvåpenet),
  • Submarine Branch (Ubåtvåpenet),
  • MTB Branch (MTB-våpenet),
  • Mine Branch (Minevåpenet)
  • Naval Ranger Branch (Marinens jegervåpen)
  • Logistics Branch (Logistikkvåpenet).

Fleet units and vessels (present)

The Fridtjof Nansen

Frigate Branch

  • Fridtjof Nansen class frigate. Three vessels commissioned, two under construction.
    • Fridtjof Nansen (F310) Launched June 3, 2004. Commissioned April 5, 2006.
    • Roald Amundsen (F311) Launched May 25, 2005. Commissioned May 21, 2007.
    • Otto Sverdrup (F312) Launched April 28, 2006. Commissioned April 30, 2008.
    • Helge Ingstad (F313) Launched November 23, 2007. Commissioned September 29, 2009.
    • Thor Heyerdahl (F314) Launched February 11, 2009. Expected commission in autumn 2010.
  • Royal yacht:

Mine Branch

  • Mine Clearance Command (divers)

Submarine Branch

The submarine fleet consists of several Ula class submarines.

  • 1st Submarine Squadron Ula class submarines:

MTB Branch

Skjold class patrol boat.

The Coastal Warfare fleet consists of Skjold class missile patrol boats (to be operational in 2010).

  • Missile Patrol Boat (Skjold class, 1 commissioned, 5 under construction/sea trials):

These will presumably be reclassed as coastal corvettes.

    • Skjold (P960) Launched September 22, 1998. Commissioned April 17, 1999
    • Storm (P961) Launched November 1, 2006.
    • Skudd (P962) Launched April 30, 2007.
    • Steil (P963) Launched January 15, 2008.
    • Glimt (P964)
    • Gnist (P965)

The (Hauk class) Fast Assault Craft were removed from the operational structure in 2008: Most of these boats has been scrapped, a few remain on Haakonsvern.

    • Hauk (P986)
    • Ørn (P987)
    • Terne (P988)
    • Tjeld (P989)
    • Skarv (P990)
    • Teist (P991)
    • Jo (P992)
    • Lom (P993)
    • Stegg (P994)
    • Falk (P995)
    • Ravn (P996)
    • Gribb (P997)
    • Geir (P998)
    • Erle (P999)'

Naval Ranger Branch

Logistics Branch

  • In the process of establishing a "logistics on keel" system. According to the official web page of the navy one large and one small logistics ships are wanted but according to a press release (24/2009)[3] from the Government one ship is planned.

Coast Guard units and vessels

  • Future Vessels
    • Three new hybrid diesel-LNG vessels of the Barentshav class ordered. The first, Barentshav, was delivered on August 22nd 2009. The remaining two will be named Bergen and Sortland.
  • Royal Norwegian Naval Basic Training Establishment, KNM Harald Haarfagre, Stavanger
  • Royal Norwegian Navy Officer Candidate School, Horten and Bergen
  • Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, Laksevåg, Bergen
  • Royal Norwegian Naval Training Establishment, KNM Tordenskjold, Haakonsvern, Bergen

Two of the schools of the Navy retain ship prefixes, reminiscent of Royal Navy practises.

Fact sheet from Department of Defense

Navy vessels (future)

The Norwegian Navy is undergoing a major modernization project to reinforce its position as a modern and competent fleet. Some of these projects are the construction of five new Fridtjof Nansen class Aegis frigates, six new Skjold class patrol boats and numerous upgradings of existing models and vessels. The plans are scheduled to be completed by 2010. The Navy has also shown interests in the new Kockums AB submarine project A26 and may order several submarines.[4]

  • Frigates:
    • Fridtjof Nansen (F310). Launched June 3, 2004. Commissioned April 5, 2006.
    • Roald Amundsen (F311). Launched May 25, 2005. Commissioned May 21, 2007.
    • Otto Sverdrup (F312). Launched April 28, 2006. Commissioned April 30, 2008.[5]
    • Helge Ingstad (F313). Expected commissioning 2009.
    • Thor Heyerdahl (F314). Expected commissioning 2010.
  • Missile Patrol Boats:
    • Storm (P961)
    • Skudd (P962)
    • Steil (P963)
    • Glimt (P964)
    • Gnist (P965)


NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student Officer
 Norway (Edit) No Equivalent UK-Navy-OF9.svg
No Equivalent
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Norway Norway
No Equivalent No Equivalent No Equivalent No Equivalent Kvartermester.JPG Konstabel.JPG Visekonstabel.JPG No Equivalent Matros.JPG
Kvartermester Konstabel Visekonstabel Menig

See also



  1. ^ From the book "Fra krigens tid"
  2. ^ Berg, Ole F. (1997) (in Norwegian). I skjærgården og på havet – Marinens krig 8. april 1940 – 8. mai 1945. Oslo: Marinens krigsveteranforening. p. 154. ISBN 82-993545-2-8.  
  3. ^ "Pressemelding 15.05.2009, 24/2009", Norwegian only
  4. ^
  5. ^ Third frigate on Norwegian hands, (Norwegian)

External links

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